International Trade in Turkey
Trade played a minor role in the Turkish economy before 1980, but grew rapidly after economic reformspromoted liberalization of foreign trade. These reforms were designed to remove
, and promote exports. In addition to rapid growth in both exports and imports, the reforms brought achange in the structure of foreign trade, and the predominant role of agricultural products came to an end with theemergence of a greater emphasis on industrial products.In addition to being a World Trade Organization (WTO) member, Turkey has also entered a number of multilateral trade relationships to increase its presence in the world trade arena. It signed a free trade agreement withthe European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1991. In 1992, Turkey and 10 other nations in the Black Sea regionformed the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization. Turkey is also a member of the Organization forEconomic Cooperation (covering Central Asian countries) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.Separately, Turkey has entered into free trade agreements with Israel, and with several Central and Eastern Europeancountries.On 1 January 1996 the EU and Turkey entered into a customs union, covering industrial products andprocessed agricultural goods, but excluding traditional agricultural products from the agreement. Turkey's adoption of the EU's Common External Tariff has resulted in lower
rates for third-party countries, including the UnitedStates.In 1980, Turkey's total merchandise exports yielded US$2.9 billion. The share of agricultural products was56.7 percent, while industrial products made up only 36.3 percent. Another 6.5 percent consisted of mineral products.In 1999, Turkish exports reached US$26.6 billion, a figure actually 1.4 percent lower than in 1998. The drop wasprimarily due to the difficult economic conditions that prevailed in Turkey as a result of the Asian financial crisis andthe 2 earthquakes. The share of agricultural products in 1999 was only 9 percent, and mineral products 1.4 percent. Bycontrast, the share of manufactured products, on the other hand, made up 89.4 percent of total exports in 1999.
Trade (expressed in billions of US$): TurkeyExports Imports
1975 1.401 4.7391980 2.910 7.9101985 7.958 11.3431990 12.959 22.3021995 21.637 35.7091998 25.938 45.369
International Monetary Fund.
International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.